WWW: Million Dollar Bill

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this excerpt from

Man tries to deposit fake $1M bill

AIKEN, S.C. - A bank teller in Clearwater had a million reasons not to open an account for an Augusta, Ga., man Monday, authorities said. Alexander D. Smith, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery after he walked into the bank and tried to open an account by depositing a fake $1 million bill, said Aiken County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

Hillary: Will too be Me!

A 30 second glimpse of the candidate:
Couric: If it's not you, how disappointed will you be?

Clinton: Well, it will be me. But of course, I'm ready to support the democratic nominee, whoever it is.

Couric: I know that you're confident it's going to be you but there is the possibility it won't be and clearly you have considered that possibility.

Clinton: No I haven't.

What do you think? Confident, arrogant or simply deluded?

Henry David Thoreau

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.

Men are born to succeed, not fail.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

Piglet Memories

This Reuters story of a stowaway piglet named Andrex reminded me of Pooh's friend Piglet. Ahhh.. sweet memories with my kids J

Family Friendly : Single Unfriendly

One of my single friends sent this Dilbert to me and it got me to wondering. Can anyone relate to this phenomenon? I think that sometimes work and church can take on a family (read that with children) oriented persona and create a single unfriendly environment. Anyone agree or disagree?

Proud Mary Sing Off

On Monday, November 26, Tina Turner will turn 68.. she is one amazing woman.. this sing off is dedicated to her.. Happy Birthday Tina!

Tina at 65 in 2004

Tina in the 90s

Tina in the 70s


Creedance Clearwater Revival

Cast your vote.. it is a hard choice.. at least between the Tinas :)

Happy Thanksgiving

This Sunday is the one year anniversary of this blog.. next month my other blog turns three. Today I wrote over there about being grateful for what really matters.. guess I just couldn't get any further in the day and not say thanks to so many of you in Bloggerville. So many of you regularly check in on me.. asking about my health and my wife's health.. you tell me that you have been praying for me.. I am so thankful and humbled.. from the bottom of my heart: Thank you and have a great day.. whatever day it is that you are reading this J

On the Giving of Thanks

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. ~William Jennings Bryan

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~Cicero

Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now. ~A.W. Tozer

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~William Shakespeare

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~Aesop

We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning. ~Albert Barnes

Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. ~Irving Berlin

Thanksgiving Turkey Perspective

Click on the picture for Sound Effects

Farewell Mr Whipple

It's OK to Squeeze the Charmin: Mr. Whipple Dies

Dick Wilson, the actor who so famously tried to keep shoppers from squeezing Charmin toilet paper in a series of TV commercials, died Monday in Woodland Hills, California. He was 91.
Not sure why this one makes me so sad.. guess Mr Whipple was just one of those iconic figures in my formative years.. makes me want to squeeze the TP.. even though it is not Charmin.

Thanksgiving Prep

30 seconds of help for you turkey roasters!

Respectful Debate

McCain reluctant to personal criticism of Clinton

COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful John McCain on Saturday said he will not follow his rivals' lead in taking personal shots at Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, and that voters seeking a candidate who will do that should look elsewhere. "I think people want a respectful debate and a respectful discussion. And if they don't, then obviously, I'm not the person to be their candidate," McCain told reporters in response to questions about criticism of Clinton by Republican rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
I think that if McCain keeps this up he might move up a bit in the polls. What do you think about the pot shots that candidates take at each other? What does this do for your opinion of McCain?

Church Ownership

Pastor's wife: Church is a divorce asset

MINEOLA, N.Y [AP] The estranged wife of a pastor claims her husband blended his professional and personal finances so thoroughly that his church should be counted as an asset in their divorce.

The wife argues that her husband of 31 years used his Brooklyn church as a "personal piggy bank," setting his own income, spending the congregation's tithes as he pleased and running a catering business from the building, according to the decision by state Supreme Court Judge Arthur M. Diamond. The couple's names were redacted from the decision.

The wife said $50,000 of the couple's money went into starting the church, and that the church property is partly hers. "That church is no different than any other business he might have opened," said the wife's lawyer, Robert Pollack. The pastor maintains he is simply a church employee, and the institution's funds should not be considered his, according to Diamond's decision.
So what do you think? Does your church have something in writing about things like this? Who owns your church? If something bad happens and the church dissolves where does the money go?

Kansas Football: #2 in America

Kansas reaches new heights in AP Top 25

Kansas' improbable climb has the unbeaten Jayhawks ranked higher than ever and preparing to play their biggest game ever.

Kansas was No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday behind top-ranked LSU. Next up for the Jayhawks — No. 3 Missouri.

The Tigers and Jayhawks meet Saturday in Kansas City. In a rivalry that dates to 1891, the stakes have never been this high. The winner takes the Big 12 North and will go to the conference championship game with national title aspirations.

The Jayhawks moved up two spots this week and Tigers jumped three places after Oregon and Oklahoma both picked up their second losses of the season.

The Jayhawks had never been ranked higher than No. 3, which they did for three straight weeks in 1968, the year of their last conference title. Missouri has its highest ranking since the Tigers were No. 1 on Nov. 14, 1960.


Starbucks: Trouble in Latte Land

[Business Week] As expected, shares of Starbucks (SBUX) took a cold latte (with a splash of peppermint) to the face on Nov. 16. The stock tumbled more than 7% in Friday's session, to a new 52-week low, but recovered somewhat by the close, off nearly 4%, to $23.17. Volume was more than six times the normal 10.6 million shares. Given the company's weak outlook after the market close, the debate over whether Starbucks is a buy still rages around the financial blogosphere.

Is it possible that $tarbucks has finally saturated the market? There are 2 of them in my neighborhood unless you count the 3rd one in the Target store. Of course I help whenever I can.. mostly a 12oz bag of $tarbucks Columbia at Walmart. Are you doing your share?

Fork Taken

HT: Barbara

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. -- Yogi Berra

False (Blue) Tooth

This is to bluetooth what dentures are to real teeth. -- Dave

Be The Blog

Barbara awarded me with this which acknowledges "those bloggers that are showing time and time again that they are true to themselves and that they ARE their blog." Coming from Barbara this is a huge compliment.. I don't know any other blogger who writes truer to her heart than that Barbara. And in light of that I would like to pass this on to a few others who represent a breed of bloggers that I find to be so inspirational:
Brian: I love our conversations Brian and the sweetness of integrity that you write with.

Julie: It is hard to read anything that you write without being confronted with your honesty.

Karen: Your compassion comes out in every post that you write Karen.. I love the person that you are.

Milly: You write with such simple honesty Milly.. you are an inspiring writer and a great encourager.

Missy: I so admire your passion for life and how you communicate with an open mind Missy.

Therese: I appreciate your openness TZ and think that you are one of the great jewels of Blogdom.
I could probably add many more (so many of you inspire me) but these are the ones come to mind right now. It is interesting to note that some of these folks are people who I have sometimes had disagreements and have debated a few issues ad nauseum.. of course I was usually right.. it is what I love about blogging.. I feel that you all help me so much.

The Iraqi Surge

Professional talk show guest Ann Coulter recently wrote:
"We know the surge in Iraq is working because it is no longer front page news."
Crazy Ann got me to wondering.. so I found this Bill Kristol article titled The Democrats' Surge Problem. Here are a few excerpts from it:
But now the surge is succeeding. Any serious person has to be rethinking his position going forward in that light. No Democrat is doing any such rethinking, however. What Democrats are doing now is, in effect, denying evident success. And, by continuing to push for a withdrawal timetable, they are trying to prevent further success...

And the Democratic party, and its presidential candidates, are in the ridiculous position of being more anti-war now that we're winning than they were when we were losing...

The Democratic candidates have, as Joe Lieberman said last week, "emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq."
My son says that things have settled down over in his section of Iraq.. I have been rethinking my anti-surge position.. I just hate to agree with Crazy Ann L

No No No

Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women

SYDNEY (AFP) - Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday. Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.

"Gimme a break," said Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids. "We are talking about little kids who do not understand that "ho, ho, ho" has any other connotation and nor should they," she told the Telegraph. "Leave Santa alone."

Please ditto that last comment for me!

Prayer: Hazardous to your Laptop

Man takes laptop from praying preacher

FORT SMITH, Ark. - When the Rev. Fidelis Obdike opened his eyes after a prayer, the setting wasn't the same. Gone were his laptop computer and the man with whom he was praying. Police arrested Carl Hagy, 41, on Wednesday on a theft charge after he allegedly pawned the computer.

Police responded to a call at Destiny Global Ministries on Friday, where Obidike told officers he had bought a laptop computer from Hagy two weeks before. He said Hagy returned to the church on Friday and asked to pray. Obdike said he was praying with Hagy inside the church, but when he opened his eyes, Hagy and the computer were gone, police said. Hagy was booked into the Sebastian County Jail, where he was freed on $1,500 bond.

WWW: Che's Expensive Hair

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this excerpt from this article:

A lock of socialist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara's hair and related items were auctioned on Thursday in Dallas to a Houston-area bookstore owner for the very capitalist sum of $119,500. The curious collection had belonged to Gustavo Villoldo, 71, a former CIA operative who helped hunt Guevara down in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967 and who claims he cut off the lock before burying the guerrilla fighter with two of his comrades.


Back in his US Open winning days tennis great Andre' Agassi convinced many of us that:
"Image is everything!"
I thought of that sound bite when I read this Julie Bogart comment about Ron Paul over at Dave's post on Electile Dysfunction:
"Not a shred of presidential-ity in his demeanor either."
I think Julie has surfaced the most important quality.. that one we all are looking for in our next president.. presidential-ity.. that persona that makes us want someone to be our leader.. causes us to think that they would be a good president. Ever since JFK we have been running after the person that has presidential-ity. Televised debates are all about a candidates ability to demonstrate their presidential-ity.. to look good in real time and in front of the camera.. to make us believe that they are presidential.

Not all presidents had this persona though.. they just had a tad more of it than their opponents. I think that when candidates like Nixon, Carter, Bush and Bush won it was really more about their opponents lack of presidential-ity than their own.. I mean, really, have you all forgotten the likes of Humphrey, Ford, Mondale, Dukakis and Gore.. a virtual definition on non-presidential-ity.. even Carter's presidential-ity was only good against Ford.. he was no match for Reagan.. now Reagan and Clinton.. these are each in a class of their own.. when it comes to presidential-ity anyway.. they both had more presidential-ity than JFK.. but maybe not RFK?

So, based on presidential-ity, I think that the following have the best shot next year: Obama, Edwards, Romney and Thompson.. really Hillary and Rudy have little presidential-ity.. but what do I know.. Kerry ran the last time.. sadly voters chose him over Edwards who probably could have beat Bush if he ran.. he certainly had the most presidential-ity of the four men on the ballot in 2004. So, what do you think? Who do you think has the most presidential-ity?

"Restless Dawn" Short Fiction Entry

Jason over at The Clarity of Night asked his readers to compose a short fiction piece of no more than 250 words using the above picture for inspiration. My entry is posted here. Let Jason know what you think about it.. but be kind J

When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box

This post is a follow-up to Courage Under Fire. The speaker is John Ortberg, the author of "When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box", the book Kirk Rogg referred to.

Ron Paul: Internet Phenom

11/11 Update: According to this article Ron Paul recently raised $4.2 million online in a single day. I really like Congressman Paul but still see him as an ultra-longshot.. we are just not ready for this kind of straight talker.
8/10: According to this CNet News Article:
Paul, 71, enjoys about 160,000 mentions on Digg.com, more than the next four most popular candidates combined. Alexa.com's statistics show Paul's Web site with a narrow lead over all the Democratic candidates and a sizable one over his fellow Republicans. Similarly, a report by Hitwise puts Paul's Web site ahead of other GOP candidates in terms of popularity.

The libertarian-minded Republican enjoys a hefty lead in two unscientific online polls: 56.3 percent in one hosted by the conservative group FreedomWorks.com, and 56 percent in a poll created by GOPstrawpolls.com, with undeclared candidate Fred Thompson coming in second at 18.7 percent. Paul is Technorati's most searched-for term, in front of stalwart contenders such as "iPhone" and "Paris Hilton," and recently reclaimed the spot after briefly falling behind a Puerto Rican singer with the undeniable advantage of having a sex tape on the loose. He's a close second to Barack Obama (and far outpaces Hillary Clinton) on Eventful.com's list of in-demand politicians, and, as The New York Times notes, is the most "friended" Republican on MySpace.com.
George Stephanopoulos recently told Ron Paul that he would wager his "every cent" that the GOP presidential candidate would not become president. I tend to agree more with George on this one than 'the internet' J

Ministry Compensation Comparison

Casey's post about the Senator Chuck Grassley investigation into six televangelists got me poking around the web in search of evangelical executive compensation. It surprised me how hard it is to find compensation data for executives of Christian organizations.. of course most churches also keep these figures secret as well.. even from their members. So, anyway, I found this document listing some 2006 salaries. Here are a few.. in no particular order:
  • Insight for Living.. Cynthia Swindoll, President.. $148,785.. Charles Swindoll and daughter (Charissa), at $55K and $82K

  • Christian Research Institute.. Hank Hanegraaff, President.. $210,192.. Wife (Kathy) also listed at $127K

  • Luis Palau Association.. Luis Palau, President.. $186,125.. Luis Palau's sons: $160K (Kevin), $84K (Andrew), $81K Keith)

  • InTouch Ministries.. Charles F. Stanley, President, Chairman.. $123,222.. two other exec's also listed, with higher salaries ($163K and $130K)

  • Grace to You.. John F. MacArthur Jr., President.. $160,000

  • Ligonier Ministries, Timothy Dick, President, CEO.. $230,098.. Robert C. Sproul (founder).. $269,000

  • Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.. William Franklin Graham III, President, CEO.. $94,998.. Three other salaries noted,$222K, $194K, and Billy Graham (retired)$406,000

All of the salary figures do not include compensation from speaking engagements, church salary, book royalties.. these probably match or exceed their salaries from their ministries. Isn't it is so interesting how many family members have high salaried positions within these ministries? You may want to check to see who is benefiting from your contributions.

About 25 years ago I stopped sending money to large radio and TV “ministries”. I don’t think that it is wise to give money to people that you do not have a personal relationship with.. people who you cannot hold personally accountable. Alas, I am probably in the minority on this one.. if not there wouldn't be so many radio and TV preachers.

Providential Perspective

Another amazing story from my email inbox:

These pictures were taken in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and appeared on the front page of the Grand Junction, Colorado newspaper.

Look at the picture above and you can see where this guy broke through the guardrail on the right side (where the people are standing on the road pointing. The pick-up was traveling from right to left when it crashed through the guardrail. It flipped end-over-end, across the culvert outlet, and landed right side up on the left side of the culvert, facing the opposite direction from which he was traveling.

The picture below puts everything in perspective.. an amazing picture of the providence of God.. He is there when we need Him most.. even when we least feel His presence!

Dancing Hillary

Compliments of the John Edwards campaign.

Mac Zero Percent

0%How Addicted to Apple Are You?
Mac's are for rich lazy people.. I just made that up.. I'm just not Mac cool :)

No offence Brian :(

Veteran Perspective

This moving video reminded me that Veteran's Day is just a few days away. It brought back memories of leaving the Army in 1971 and feeling that I really didn't do anything special. It reminded me of how unappreciated I felt for several years and how I began to feel honored when, after I started going to church, I was asked to stand because I served our country.. the applause I received at church was the first time I ever felt honored for serving my country.

The video also reminded me of my son serving in the infantry on the Iraqi front lines.. of how deeply he was wounded in his heart when his friends died.. how hard it was for him to attend memorial services for his fallen comrades in Iraq. It reminded me of the great heart that my son has.. how he volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq so that he could fight side-by-side with his comrades.. how proud I am to have a son that serves with honor and courage.

I wonder.. when my son leaves the Army next spring after four and a half years of service.. will employers remember and honor his sacrifice by giving him a chance to earn a living.. will anyone else be there for him to help ease his way back into society.. will those of faith seek him out?

If you do nothing else on Veteran's Day please watch this video and remember to pray for our troops.. especially those in harms way.

Crazy Uncle Pat endorses Rudy

In yet another desperate grab for political power Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and the Christian Broadcasting Network endorsed Rudy Giuliani saying:
"To me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists.... We need a leader with a bold vision who is not afraid to tackle the challenges ahead."
Oh how I wish that our crazy uncle Pat would offer a sane prophetic voice rather than this overtly political one.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

From the pages of Wikipedia we discover:

Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and novelist, whose Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) attacked the cruelty of slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential, even in Britain. It made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North. It angered and embittered the South. The impact is summed up in a commonly quoted statement apocryphally attributed to Abraham Lincoln. When he met Stowe, it is claimed that he said, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"

Here are a few quotes that are attributed to her:

Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.

Friendships are discovered rather than made.

All serious daring starts from within.

Human nature is above all things lazy.

I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation.

I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place.

In all ranks of life the human heart yearns for the beautiful; and the beautiful things that God makes are his gift to all alike.

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.

No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the godless man.

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

The past, the present and the future are really one: they are today.

Troubled Teenage Perspective

Raising a teenager is really difficult these days.. trust me.. I know what I am talking about! Even so this story titled: Teenager Admits to Trying to Have His Mother Killed caught me by surprise. Here is the intro to the story:
A Southern Maryland teenager admitted in court yesterday that he tried to hire a hit man to kill his mother, a plea that his parents said is the first step toward having a family relationship with him again.

Cory Ryder, 17, said little as St. Mary's County Circuit Court Judge Michael Stamm asked whether he understood the accusations against him. "Yes, sir," he said quietly as his mother, stepfather and several relatives sat behind him.

Ryder didn't look their way, but after his plea, his attorney asked the judge if his client could speak alone with his mother. Stamm agreed, and Ryder's mother was led to a small room. She spoke with Ryder for about 35 minutes. It was the first time Shannan Troiano had faced her son, other than seeing him in court hearings, since before his arrest in early June.

As their talk came to an end, Troiano later said, she hugged her son as he sat in handcuffs and shackles. Troiano walked back into the courtroom, burying her head in deep sobs into her husband Joey's arms for nearly two minutes. "I didn't want to let go," she told him.
What can you do but cry with this distraught mom. It would be easy (and cruel) to judge her.. second guessing her parenting skills and somehow projecting blame on her. For now, maybe we can just allow ourselves to be touched by her tears.

WWW: Geriatric Carding

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you the intro to this piece titled excerpt from 77-year-old gets carded in beer purchase:

GALLIVARE, Sweden - He may look young for his age, but 77-year-old Swedish retiree Per-Eric Henricsson was not flattered when his local supermarket asked him to show ID to prove that he was old enough to buy a case of beer.

Now, Henricsson has asked the National Association of Senior Citizens for help in pressing the ICA supermarket in Gallivare, northern Sweden, to stop carding the elderly.

"It is ridiculous. I have been a customer at ICA for more than 40 years and they know me," Henricsson told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Relevant Perspective

I saw this picture on Alex Tang's blog.. it bothers me.. haunts me.. troubles me.. makes me think about what I obsess about.. about what I think good news is.. it challenges my definition of suffering.


X-Files stars, crew reunite for secretive sequel
By Leslie Simmons, Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fans of "The X-Files" no longer have to rely on Internet rumors to seek the truth about a sequel to the 1998 movie based on the popular TV series. On Wednesday, Fox announced production will start December 10 on the sequel, which reunites the show's stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. The studio also picked July 25 as the U.S. release date...

The studio is staying little about the film's story line. All that is being revealed is that it is a "supernatural thriller" and that the movie will take the complicated relationship between FBI agents Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) in unexpected directions as Mulder continues on his quest for the truth and Scully remains inextricably tied to her partner's pursuits.